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Year 12 - Week 14 - Dances with Ghosts - Take-2


(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
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I went a totally different direction than the first.

Spoiler alert at the bottom after lyrics.

This is part 70's AM Gold story telling of a tragedy and part Bruce Springsteen and part Counting Crows. Probably late 70's Pop-Rock until it can't be.

OK, so this song as it is has a missing element. This will come in the next version, which will be later in this thread. The new element will be a male character who never had the nerve to approach Lucy. This character will have a part in the tragedy and the ending.

She Dances With Ghosts - Mongo and the Pawns of Life

[VERSE 1]
Lonely Lucy, she could
Look straight through you,
with dark eyes could chill your soul.

She always has that look
like she knew the inside scoop,
something the rest of us don't.

She never looks down
when she walked around town,
Lookin' like she never had a care in the world.

She Bounces down the streets
to a beat in her feet, and a
smile for everyone she meets.

[Pre-Chorus]
Lucy never had no suitors,
Nobody could ever catch her eye.
She danced by herself on weekends,
out of site of any dance hall guy.

She moved to the music ~by ~her~self,
But she ~never was alone.
She danced with folks no-one could see,
In a world she always had known_____

[CHORUS]
She dan___-ces with ghosts.
They stayed in this world, so she'd never been alone.

She dan___-ces with ghosts.
She's the only one who can see, she's the only one who's known.

[VERSE 2]
The Dance Hall burned down,
way down to the ground,
Lonely-Lucy was no-where around.

No-one called down to
report her being gone.
It's like she vanished in the thin air replace, don't like **

[BRIDGE]
Nobody could recall where Lucy lived,
Nobody knew where she worked in town.
Nobody remembered where she came from,
Nobody knew of any kin around.

[Pre chorus]
Time passed on and rumors swirled around,
about some noises near the burial grounds.
When the moon lights the ground a dark shadow moves around
to a beat that ~only it knows.

[CHORUS]
She dan___-ces with ghosts.
She stayed in this world, so we'd never been alone.

She dan___-ces with ghosts.
She's the only one we see, We're the only one who knows she's around____.

[Outro]
repeat chorus (for now)

SPOILER ALERT: Lucy is herself a ghost, come to find out, and the aforementioned character that will be added perishes in the fire. Lucy ceases her real-life physical appearance everywhere and becomes the other character's dance partner in the after-life, appearing as dancing ghosts in some cliché moonlit night setting down at the cemetery.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@barnabus-rox)
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Posts: 2976
 

Hello Roy :)

I personally like the " Vanished in thin air " but I suppose it depends on how you sing this , I started reading it and ended up singing it in my head with this up tempo happy sort of melody happening .
I love the chorus / Pre Chorus and the Bridge ( they really jumped out at me ) , the story it's self was great , I loved it but once again - It is how one reads lyrics , I try not to read them like a book , I try to imagine how it would be sung in my little mind .

Great stuff I say :)

Trev :D

Here is to you as good as you are
And here is to me as bad as I am
As good as you are and as bad as I am
I'm as good as you are as bad as I am


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(@davidhodge)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 4485
 

I'm finding myself (like Trev) liking the "vanish into thin air" line. But you could, especially if you're thinking about going with "every line rhymes" scheme with the first stanza, also go with something like this:
The Dance Hall burned down,
way down to the ground,
Lonely-Lucy was no-where around.

Not a single soul in town
reported her being gone.
Like the dark disappears with the dawn

Just a thought.

If you're not careful, you might end up having a whole album of different songs with the same title! Worked for "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," right?

Peace


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 pbee
(@pbee)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2097
 

Hi Roy,
well done you writing two songs for the weeks assignment :D. My only comment would be that it might be nice to allude to why she hung around.

cheers
Paul


Check out my Reverbnation page here


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

Hmmmm, that's a pretty good idea. I've been connecting her to the town through the man in the Dance Hall tragedy in my mind and have gone so far as to think of her as being there as a bit of a reward for the good life he's led or something to that affect after the tragedy/fire. Almost a pre-conceived or pre-determined gesture from unknown powers. The "why she hung around" question might be the avenue needed to make the rest of this song and the character get written.

Sweet!!! Thanks, Pau! 8) 8)

(ps. This is just one of many reasons why some songs of mine are taking months to finish getting on to paper. That final connect the story together bit. This one was looking like it had a similar fate.)

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@jamestoffee)
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Posts: 2855
 

Good start.

I don't have anything to add to what's already been said, but I do like the concept/story line.

James


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

This song got an overhaul. It all started with the additional character. Then a story of sorts. Then some song re-structure, etc, etc. In short, this song has been a very big learning experience. This is much different from a modular song that is simply about something. The linear nature of a story is quite challenging to get in to a song format.

That was a struggle I didn't think I was going to overcome until I got the bright idea to embrace song formatting elements rather than just adhering to them. I discovered that a song's sections can become very natural dividers from topic to topic and emotion to emotion. I probably knew that before, but not to this extent.

The song is closest to Country or some acoustic guitar based AM Gold from the 70's type of sound. I've got the drum kit programmed with a test stereo track done as well as a track of acoustic rhythm guitar recorded. Enough for a full length demo within a few days.

My much shorter proof of concept sort of test recording of just a couple verses of the previous version came out quite well despite some really awful singing. I'm fairly excited about this one.

Anyhow, the new lyrics.

She Dances With Ghosts - Mongo and the Pawns of Life
(copyright 2014)
[VERSE 1]
Lonely Lucy swayed_ when she
bounced on down the street.
To music only she could hear____.
She walked to an inner beat

Lonely Lucy never looked down
when she walked around town,
She had a smile for everyone,
You never saw her frown_____

[BRIDGE]
She moved to the music ~by ~her~self,
But she ~never was alone.
She danced with partners no-one could see,
In a world only she had known_____

Lucy never had a suitor,
but one did catch her eye.
She danced by herself on the Dance Hall floor,
In sight of that special guy.

[CHORUS - 1]
Lucy loved to dance the most.
When she moved, she seemed to float.
Watching Lonely Lucy,
they said she dan__-ces__ with ghosts___.

In the place she loved the most,
she once danced as if she floats.
People still love to boast,
that she dan___-ces__ with ghosts.

[VERSE 2]
Little Bill was a great-big man,
with a heart as big as they get.
He worked in town as a Po-lice man,
was loved by everyone he met.

His love for Lucy, known by all,
Too shy to tell her so.
On weekends at the Dance Hall,
he watched Lucy dance alone.

[VERSE 3]
One night a fire broke out,
The Dance Hall burned to the ground.
Bill got every-body out,
but was inside when the walls came down

How many lives, that night he saved,
More than they could bare to name.
Lucy vanished in the thin air,
Some say she went up in flames

[CHORUS 2]
Across the floor, he'd watch her float
Bill loved Lonely Lucy most.
Lucy would smile back at Bill,
as she___ danced with ghosts.

In the spot they met loved the most,
folks stop, for a mid-night toast.
The folks save a place on the floor,
now they___ dance with ghosts.

[BRIDGE 2]
Nobody knew where Lucy lived,
Nobody knew where she worked in town.
Nobody knew where she came from,
No loved-ones___ ever found.

Lucy was a ghost, they say,
Bill's reward for the life he gave.
Lucy came for Bill, what he'd do some day___.
They buried dance-hall ashes in Lucy's place____.

[CHORUS 3]
Across the floor, he'd watch her float
Bill loved Lonely Lucy most.
Lucy would smile back at Bill,
as she___ danced with ghosts.

In the spot they met loved the most,
folks stop, for a mid-night toast.
The folks save a place on the floor,
now they___ dance with ghosts.

OUTRO
The folks save a place on the floor,
now they___ dance with ghosts.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

Hmmm....first thing I thought of was Stephen King's short story, "Willa," from the "Just After Sunset" collection of short stories. One writer described Willa as a "wistful love song in a haunting minor key."

Stephen King is one of my all-time favourite writers - Lee Child, Terry Pratchett, Tom Clancy and Tom Holt are the others in the top 5 - so do I really need to say more?

Probably not....but....if you're looking for inspiration, I suggest reading "Willa." Might just help you to finish the story or add a little polish....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

Alrighty, I did the song. I've been sitting on it for a couple of days. I have changes that I want to make, but I figured I'd share the first real version.

Here it is. http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12692690

I'm quite fond of the overall sound, which was impossible for me to say a little over a year ago when I started writing and creating songs. Still, though, there are changes I want to make. I think there are a few lines that still do not fit the space. One early on in the first bit about "Lonely Lucy".

The other is the bridge. I tried a bit where I do two bars each of Em - C - Em - C -Am -C -Am - C. This totally bombed on the very last bridge line that ended up being "they put dance hall ashes in Lucy's grave_____".

For the studio rats like myself: I played both of the guitars, the bass and sang the vocals. Drums were VI and there's a VI based pad in there that's somewhat based on the fiddle. Mainly noticeable over the last couple choruses and the bridges, but way back in the mix.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@hobson)
Prominent Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 794
 

You had a really good start on your first version. And you've made it better. The music is not what I expected, but it fits the story very well. Some nice guitar playing too.

Renee


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(@jamestoffee)
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Posts: 2855
 

Hi Roy,

Nice work on the mp3. Reminds me a bit of The Wallflowers....and that's a good thing

Thanks for sharing.

James


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

Here's the latest version. I changed quite a few of the lines around to make things sort of fit and flow better.

I changed the bridge sections around, but I'm still not thrilled with the ending of the bridge right before the final chorus.

I also did a proper mix-down and polished it up quite a bit. I didn't do a whole lot the last time to that end.

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12698111

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@jamestoffee)
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Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 2855
 

Hi Roy,

The new recording seems to work well with the mood and ideas.

This is comment is more personal preference, but the song feels long.

What types of artists do you listen to?

Do their songs run about the same time length?

There's nothing wrong with a long song per se.

Again, it could be more a personal preference on my part.

-James


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5492
Topic starter  

I listen to a variety of music. I do enjoy a good longer song. I've got no problem listening to Pink Floyd's "Echoes" or any number of Allman Brothers band tunes. Even my favorites - The 'Stones - their longer songs have been my long-time favorites. YCAGWYW, 'Sympathy and Midnight rambler being biggest examples.

btw, I did remove an entire verse before hitting the "studio".

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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